Fjorten dagere før frostnettene Sigurd Hoel

ISBN:

Published: 1973

Hardcover

222 pages


Description

Fjorten dagere før frostnettene  by  Sigurd Hoel

Fjorten dagere før frostnettene by Sigurd Hoel
1973 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 222 pages | ISBN: | 5.42 Mb

Let me say two different things up front. 1) I’m not a huge fan of this type of novel (the novel is described by the publisher as a “deep-probing psychological quest”) and – absent a stellar reputation – I tend to pass on books that appear to only do this one thing. But- 2) I greatly enjoyed this book, due in large overwhelming part to the consummate skill of author Sigurd Hoel.Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Man turns forty, begins to yearn for the past, gets hung up on a prior lover, has an affair, and explores his sexual repression through the lens of his conservative upbringing.

It is, in fact, so overdone that it is pure middle-age-white-author stereotype at this point. That said, I’m not sure that it would in fact have been quite so stereotypical in 1935 when it was written.One of the things that stood out to me was my inability to nail down, through my reading, when this book was either set or written.

In fact, having read one of Hoel’s post-WWII novels, I spent most of the novel assuming it was written and set much later than it was. It reads and feels in great part like a modern (and I do mean could-be-written-now-modern) European novel. That could be in large part due to translator decisions – I’m never sure about these things – but I try to never assume translator-interference without some sort of proof, so, instead, I’m left with the fact that Hoel appears to have been writing fairly well ahead of his time in terms of structure and tone.Oddly enough – in the face of the European-vibe this novel gives off – I would say that the closest comparison I can come up with for Hoel is Haruki Murakami-sans-Magical-Realism.

The wanderings in this novel reminded me a great deal – and I find the mental streets I imagined in my readings are the same – of both Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The “sans-Magical-Realism” thing is important here: this book is great merely on the strength of the author and his words, and not on the fairly (now) common plot.This was another book that, once started, I found I needed to finish: and, in fact, I stayed up late last night just to do so.

Sigurd Hoel is utterly unknown outside his native country – thankfully some of this has at least been translated in the face of utter indifference – but I have to agree with the words of Norwegian poet André Bjerke: ”If he had written in English, he would have had a world reputation.”



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